Open Defecation Free: UNICEF commends Katagum LGA, seeks media partnership

By Idris Olasunkanmi

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has commended Katagum Local Government Area (LGA) of Bauchi state for attaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

Katagum has now joined other seven LGAs of Dass, Warji, Shira, Gamawa, Bogoro, Ganjuwa and Toro, to have attained the ODF free status in the state.

Dr Clement Adams, the Officer in Charge of UNICEF, Bauchi Field Office, made the commendation in Azare, the Headquarters of Katagum LGA at the commemoration of the 2023 World Toilet Day.

He emphasised the importance for every household to have a toilet which could prevent outbreak of diseases and risk of lives by going into the bush to defecate.

“We have only eight out of the 20 LGAs in Bauchi state with Open Defecation Free status. We need to do more. 

“We can do this through partnership. Here, the media plays a very critical role because their role is to help us educate the communities.

“As UNICEF, we can also do our part by making sure that we are reaching out to sensitise the public and create the necessary awareness,” he said. 

Adams said that the media was a critical partner in sensitising the communities on the need for ODF.

“If you don’t have a toilet in your house, you are endangering all the Nigerians that will have to look for a bush and are subjected to a lot of attacks like snake bite, diseases and so on,” he said.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Nuhu Zaki, said the state government.was committed to attain an open defecation free status across all the 20 LGAs by 2025.

Represented by the General Manager, Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Zaki said 5,934 communities were delivered open defecation free while Bauchi and Zaki LGAs were at the verge of becoming open defecation free.  

“As one of the sustainability processes, the state government identified and trained private entrepreneurs on sanitation marketing for improved latrine construction in household and public places like markets and motor parks. 

“Investors were trained on improved latrine construction both at household and public places across the state.

“As a result of the institutional formation and capacity building to the Toilet Business Owners, Masons and Toilet investors, 113,092 improved toilets were constructed across the state.

“I wish to extend the state government’s appreciation to UNICEF for its continued support to the people of Bauchi State particularly, women and children,” he said.

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